Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Project 365 Finished!


Project 365 - December 2008
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

This is the mosaic of my final batch of photographs for Project 365. December is a difficult month in which to take a daily photograph and I was grateful for Christmas lights which helped to provide a large proportion of the images. We went to Brussels in mid December and three of the photographs came from there. At the end of the month, I went to try to take photographs of birds in flight at the country park near where we live and one of these made it into Project 365.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Project 365 Finished!


Watermead Country Park, Leicester
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

I completed Project 365 today. Actually I took photographs for 366 days since 2008 was a leap year.

I decided to start and end in the same place. This photograph was taken in Watermead Country Park, Leicester. One of the entrances to the park is a few minutes walk from our house. I took a photograph of this sculpture of a mammoth on December 29th 2007. The one shown here was taken on December 28th 2008.

Why is there a sculpture of a mammoth here? The remains of mammoths have been found in the area. The sculpture is called "Silent Witness" and is by Daniel Jones. There is a plaque nearby which reads:

"The remains of woolly mammoth have been found on this site. The lie of the land has changed but little else has. At least 10,000 years have elapsed since the last herd of mammoths passed this way. Using your imagination, cast your mind back in time and gaze over the lakes....mammoths are still here - are'nt they?"

It has been a good experience to have to take a photograph every day for a year - but I am glad that the burden has now been lifted. The project has made me think more about photography and in particular how to find the photographic potential of unpromising situations. I am thinking especially of times in the winter when the days were short and I had not been able to take a photograph during the day - usually because of the need to work! Some of the photographs that I took in these situations are not good. I would not have taken them - still less put them on Flickr - if it were not for the need to satisfy the requirements of Project 365.

Since I was trying to complete Project 365, I took a camera with me virtually everywhere and at all times. This meant that I was able to take photographs that I would otherwise have missed. Having a camera with me is a habit that Project 365 has helped me to get into and which I hope is now well enough engrained that I will continue with it.

Some people continue with Project 365 after completing the first year. I will not be one of them. I want to move on to other challenges. However I think I might do it again in a few years time. It will be interesting to compare the set of photographs that I have just completed with the ones that I take then.


Saturday, 27 December 2008

Self Portrait


Self Portrait
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

This is the 365th of my photographs for Project 365. To complete this project, you need to take a photograph every day for a year. I decided to show myself in my den - and then had the idea of taking it a bit further by showing myself looking at a photograph of myself on the computer monitor. As you can see, I did not bother to tidy up before taking the photograph - although it is tidier than it often is. With a bit more time and care, this set up could produce a much better photograph but I did not have time to do that today.

This is not quite the end of Project 365 for me. This has been a leap year and so I intend to take another photograph tomorrow in order to complete the project fully. I started on December 29th 2007 and so will finish on December 28th 2008 with my 366th photograph.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Brussels


Brussels
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

We visited Brussels a couple of weeks before Christmas. Travelling by Eurostar is very easy from Leicester since the Leicester to London train goes into Saint Pancras station. We just had to change platforms to get the train to Brussels.

In the Grote Markt, there was a Son et Lumiere show every evening. This was mostly automated but on Saturday night there was a live show. This photograph was taken during the performance. Most of the show took place on the balcony of the Hotel de Ville. Towards the end of the show, there was a coup de theatre when this stage rose from the square with the singer on top. He threw confetti in the air creating the effect seen in the photograph.

There are other Son et Lumiere photographs on my Flickr photostream.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Loughborough, Leicestershire


Loughborough, Leicestershire
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

This is the first of my photographs to be viewed 200 times on Flickr - which is some kind of landmark. It is not necessarily the best or most difficult to take photographs that get viewed frequently on Flickr. This one was taken quickly and easily. The reason for it's popularity is that it is linked from http://www.loughboroughcarillon.com - which is the website of the Loughborough Carillon. This photograph sits at the top left hand corner of the Carillon's website.

The Carillon was built as a memorial to the people of the town of Loughborough who died in the First World War. The first recital was given on 22nd July 1923. Edward Elgar composed a piece especially for this instrument. It is called "Memorial Chimes" and was played at this first recital. The Carillon is played regularly on Sundays and Thursdays.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Goose


Goose
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

I took advantage of a sunny day to take my camera to Watermead Country Park again. I used my 75 - 300 mm zoom. As I have written previously, this is a full frame lens and so on my Sony A100, it is effectively 450 mm at the long end. I mostly used it at the long end too. Attempts to photograph birds in flight all failed but I was pleased with some close ups that I was able to take. This goose posed very nicely for me!

Watermead County Park is the stretch of the valley of the River Soar which runs between Birstall and Thurmaston and has it's southern portion in Leicester. The park was made after a programme of gravel extraction had come to an end. The gravel pits have been made into lakes. Many of these are left to the wildlife but some are used for water sports such as wind surfing and water skiing. The area often floods making it useless for building development. I am fortunate to live less than five minutes walk away from one of the entrances to the park.

I saw some grebe on the water today. I would like to get some photographs of them but they were too far away from the shore. It was fascinating watching them dive below the surface and then come up quite along way away from where they had dived. I am hoping to find one close enough to the shore for me to photograph soon.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Project 365 - November 2008


Project 365 - November 2008
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

This is a mosaic of my Project 365 photographs for November 2008. The laptop screen; the narcissus bowl; the orange and the clock signal my occasional desperation to find a subject as the hours of daylight decrease. There are signs of the seasons though in the pumpkin for Halloween and the Christmas lights. I missed out on fireworks for Guy Fawkes night though. The photographs that I like best are the cyclamen and the swan. Just one more month to go now!

If you are considering undertaking Project 365, Jason Webber has posted some excellent advice on his blog at:

http://jasonmarkwebber.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/tips-for-a-one-photo-a-day-project/

I wish I had read this before I started! Jason's tips are very pragmatic and will help anyone to complete the task of taking one photograph a day for a year.